The great bird of the east comes down to the coast at sunset. It is an eagle, and yet its wingspan clouds the sky, colors the surface of the water with shadow. It is the screaming of the storm and the sound of its beating wings is all but the whirlwind.
Men on the boat that it approaches scream in all the tongues of men the region knows, but there is no saving them – already, every other boat but ours flees for the horizon, away from the dark arch of those wings, the glare of the great golden eyes.
It comes fast – a glut of terror as the bird bolts down its meal of men. There is a new pitch to the screams – then there is silence. Strewn across the ebb of the tide, the wreckage of a single sail turns bloody in the current, wrapped around its mast. Broken spars heave, and one breathless body with them, riding the swell of the bosom of the sea.
The great wing-beats return then, a sound like a hurricane, and our boat is pushed back, back, skidding across the surface of the ocean. The golden eyes scan the surface of the water, but the bird has had its fill. With a screech it rises back into the sky, disappears in the direction from whence it came.
The Roc at Ancient Worlds
Image Credit: GENZOMAN
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